Adriano Polonia, Associate Professor of Business and Chair of Business Management Department, Director of Global Leadership Institute
Professor Adriano Polonia, MBA, MS, PhD is an innovative leadership educator, a skilled business executive, mentor, consultant and a master certified leadership coach. Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, Mr. Polonia is multilingual, speaking five languages fluently. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences from culturally diverse areas around the world relating to business and higher education. His accomplishments are the result of over 30 years of work in multinational business environments (Panasonic, Nivea/Beiersdorf, Millennium Bank, and Andersen Consulting/Accenture) relating to marketing, strategy, organizational leadership and personal development solutions. His research over the past decade involves leadership roles in the implementation and assessment of talent within organizations. His style is results-oriented and has been cultivated through comprehensive thought and action directed planning delving into what works best for leaders to locate, define, work through, and solve a range of corporate issues through a concentrated and compassionate process.
Adriano Polonia has been Executive Director of the Global Leadership Institute at the University of Saint Katherine (USK) since its inception in August 2016, bringing deeper insight into strategies for leadership development locally and internationally. He is passionate about the work of this institute as he guides every facet of academic engagement and practice, modeling strong global leadership practices, which with his creative and collaborative skills will continue to further develop and manage unique and effective programs and experiences.
He is also Chair of the Business Management Department and Assistant Professor at USK as well as teaching assistant at the University of San Diego (USD) for Global Issues in Higher Education, and has also taught the Emerging Leaders class at USD. Adriano Polonia is a certified Level 2 UEFA soccer coach, was CEO and technical director of the first FC Barcelona soccer school in Portugal and a Leadership trainer and facilitator at the highly regarded 2016 European Champion Portuguese Soccer Federation.
Darijo Banjac, Assistant Professor of Business*
Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Professor Darijo Banjac moved to United States in 1995. He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with BA in International Business. His postgraduate degree in Business was completed at the University of Phoenix, with concentration in International Business and Finance. He started his professional career at Wells Fargo Bank as licensed advisor, specializing in investments, fixed income, life insurance and retirement accounts, and moved to Pacific Western Bank at International Banking division, as international account officer and investment advisor. He is currently working at San Diego Private Bank, as VP/account manager, and has been involved with USK since 2016, as an adjunct professor and adjunct representative to the Faculty Senate.
John Dempsey, Assistant Professor of Business*
President, RainTree Oncology Services; former vice-president, Johnson & Johnson Companies
Goncalo Mendes, Assistant Professor of Business*
Professor Gonçalo Saraiva Mendes received his Master of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Information Systems Management from the University of Rochester, NY. He started his career at Accenture where he spent most of his time in Information Systems related projects. From two SAP implementations to the advisory of the CIO of a major telecom company, and to IT Spending projects, Gonçalo has done a “bit of everything” with regards to IT. This semester Professor Mendes is teaching intermediate management.
Marisa Poulos, Assistant Professor of Business Law*
Professor Marisa Poulos is an experienced civil litigation attorney with over fifteen years’ experience. Professor Poulos’ practice focuses primarily on business related litigation including contracts, unfair competition, intellectual property and bankruptcy matters. She practices in both federal and state court. In addition, Professor Poulos volunteers her time with the Orange County Superior Court to resolve small claims, traffic court and civil matters. Professor Poulos obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona in 1994 and her law degree from Western State University, College of Law in 1998. She began teaching at University of Saint Katherine in January 2017.
Nemanja Selezan, Assistant Professor of Business*
Professor Nemanja Selezan holds a B.A. in Political Science from The State University of New York at Buffalo and an M.B.A. in International Business from Webster University. He has an extensive educational and professional background in the financial services industry, and is a Financial Advisor with WestPac Wealth Partners, LLC. Professor Selezan is affiliated with a number of local professional and nonprofit organizations where he serves on their respective boards. Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Professor Selezan has lived in Greece, Hungary and Spain and speaks four foreign languages. He has resided in San Diego, California since 2004.
Thomas Smith, Assistant Professor of Business*
Professor Tom Smith received a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and an MBA from University of LaVerne. He has extensive international experience as a retail banker and military leader who specializes in organization management and strategy. Professor Smith is currently an executive consultant with Lee Hecht Harrison – the largest career transition firm globally. He is a twenty-three-year veteran of the US Army (Finance Corps), having served in two wars and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Alyssa is a Teaching Assistant at USK. She is excited to join the USK staff after completing her undergraduate education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. Throughout her time at Southeastern she received her Bachelors in Legal Studies and her Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Executive Leadership. Throughout her Master’s coursework she had the opportunity to work as a Graduate Assistant under the department chair for the College of Business as well as be a member and captain of the women’s basketball team. Alyssa feels fortunate to be part of USK during these developmental years and looks forward to seeing students discover their purpose throughout their time at college.
*Part-time faculty appointment